We are pleased to introduce a new judge to the QEPrize judging panel: Jinghai Li. Professor Li established the Energy-Minimization Multi-Scale (EMMS) model for gas-solid systems. Currently, he works to promote the concept of mesoscience based on the EMMS principle of compromise in competition as an interdisciplinary science. We spoke to Professor Li to find out more about him.

What do you consider to be the most important innovation of the last 100 years?

I think the most important innovation has been information technology, which has lead significant changes in social life and human behaviours, such as in communication and computation.

Why is it so important that we attract young people into the field of engineering? What motivates you to be an advocate for young engineers?

At the moment, research paradigm in science and engineering is changing very quickly, calling for new knowledge and new conceptual input. We need young engineers because they are more open to be involved in this change.

What would be your advice to a young engineer?

I think it is good to choose a challenging issue to solve with engineering, and to devote  your whole life to it until it is resolved.

What can we expect to see next in your field?

With increasing understanding and computational capability, we will begin to see virtual reality in chemical engineering.

How will AI and robotics change the world as we know it?

I think AI will cause a breakthrough in brain science and computational science to reveal the logic and mechanism of cognitive processes.